In the history of books, there have been worse endings than this one, I’m sure. But I can’t think of one off the top of my head. I know it’s bad form to start a review by talking about the ending, but it must be said. This is a romance novel. It’s supposed to have a happy ending. I’m even good with a happy-for-now ending. Be warned, this has neither.
Still with me? Let’s talk about the rest.
The female lead in this book was actually one of the villains in Where Demons Fear to Tread. She was also a very fascinating character in that story, so I was kind of excited to see how she would be redeemed. Luciana is no wilting flower. She has endured a horrible existence, but she is willing to do whatever is necessary to take care of herself. And she doesn’t waste any time worrying about the morality of her choices.
Brendan has only been an angel for about 10 years. Before that, he was a Detroit cop who was killed on the job. He is steeped in power and knows how to get things done. That is why the Angel Council chose him to capture Luciana and get custody of the poison she made that can kill angels and demons alike.
Brendan tracks her down in Venice and from the very beginning, the two are drawn to each other. For a long time, they try to fight it, focusing on the fact that they are enemies. But once Luciana begins to use her abilities to walk in his dreams and tries to use seduction as a weapon, it’s only a matter of time before they begin falling for each other.
I liked Luciana. She has an edge that you rarely see in a PNR heroine. I like that she is unapologetic and doesn’t hem and haw over what needs to be done. I liked that Brendan isn’t 100% goody-two-shoes either. There are shades of gray in both characters. There’s solid sexual tension and the conflict felt genuine. (However, I thought when Brendan gave in to his attraction to Luciana, it seemed a bit sudden.)
The demon Corbin is back and he is as evil as ever. And there’s even a character with questionable morals on team-angel. I like the nuances you see on both sides of angel-demon war.
But. I found the pacing a little uneven. It had some slow pockets for me in the first half. And I hated the end. Even though there were parts of the book that were really engaging, I just can’t get over a romance without an HEA.
*ARC Provided by Mira via NetGalley
The Demoness of Waking Dreamsby Stephanie ChongRelease Date: August 28, 2012Publisher: Mira